He nods as if to acknowledge
That endings are almost always a little sad
Even when there is something to look forward to
On the Other Side.
I was woken up by the annoying sound of my alarm clock. As the days go by the ache resides a little until the night time hits and there is just no getting over it.
My surroundings have changed a lot over the past three years. Now I don’t wake up to open the window and enjoy the birds chirping. Now I wake up to the mess of dark hair laying on my chest and an arm tightly wrapped around me.
Now I wake up in a home that is ours to make the rules for. A home where we don’t need our parents to approve the people we’re having over. A home where one of us will be cooking when other comes back after a tiring day just to shower each other with love.
Now we go to sleep after we’ve mourned the friend we lost.
I brush my hand through his dark hair, carefully shaking him awake to get ready for the day. His soft snores could still be heard across the marvelous room we share and I decided a few more minutes wouldn’t hurt.
I started college nearby, business major, just as I had planned. Asher started helping his father with business after graduating, and making sure the pack is officially located here. We rented a place about 15 minutes away from the pack house and his family home to experience what it’s like to live as a couple, we loved the place so much that after a few months he bought it under our name and it became our family home.
Mom was skeptical at first but decided that Asher is in fact a really nice guy and would treat me well so she approved.
After graduation, Blake went to see his mom and dad for the last time before they got divorced and Chris accompanied him.
Wren and Adam have been inseparable the whole time, they will be fighting one minute and making up the next.
Everything has been falling into place for real this time as I stare at the beautiful ring on my left hand. It happened on graduation, in front of everyone on the stage while I was up there as my name was announced. Out of nowhere he jumped up, got down on one knee and asked me. It was so spur of the moment, there was no speech, just the 4 words. Will you marry me?
It was perfect, and within a few seconds everyone started chanting “say yes” so I did. And I haven’t regretted a moment since then.
I didn’t care if people thought we are getting because he somehow knocked me up. I loved him, and that was enough for me to agree to spend the rest of our lives together.
We decided to have a long engagement. Even though we got engaged on graduation, I thought it would be better if we got married after I’ve completed university just so I won’t have any distractions. And the best thing was that I was graduating in a few months, and I will have all the time in the world to plan the perfect wedding.
My friends and I have already started the planning, and it’s going really well. I just hope that Asher likes it all just as much as I do because he refused to take any part in his own marriage event. He said it would be best if he just shows up in a tux at the hour of need and we laughed over it for a good week.
Amber, on the other hand, became lost. Losing Ryder took a toll on all of us. The most on Asher because he felt every bit of the excruciating pain he went through. Most of the nights after the incident he would start shaking in the middle of the night only to wake up with immense hurt in his eyes, and constantly he would ask me never to leave him and would hold me tight while pulling back to sleep.
We tried a lot to get Amber up, to take her out and to help her move on, but she was a corpse walking for almost a year until the graduation week came.
She found Scott. Yes, the same guy who tried to kiss me at the party when Adrian punched him unconscious. They had been talking for a while and hit it off. She is still broken about Ryder, and apologizes for it every day, but I don’t think the pack will ever forgive her.
I know where she was coming from when she rejected him, and so does Wren but the pack suffered a great loss which can never be forgiven.
Choosing a new beta was the hardest choice Asher made, he couldn’t even look anyone in the eye to tell them he was looking for his second in command and no one in the pack ever dared to step up and take the place Ryder had left to fill.
The respect for their fallen brother was deeply embedded and not one wolf wanted to defy it so Asher chose Adam to step up and told him to get a new Gamma for the warriors.
He trusts Adam with every ounce of his soul and he knew whoever he would choose would be a good Gamma. It was a tough year for all of us and when the new Gamma took the place, he made sure that everyone knew he would never be as good as Adam but he’ll try his best.
Adrian’s pack left us for good, with a promise to never show their face again. There was a high chance of war when the news about Adrian telling Amber about rejection got to our ears but Ryan held it off with a promise to rule in his territory only, never to step here again.
“Where are you lost?” My love spoke, looking up into my eyes as my hand rested in his hair. His mesmerizing brown orbs staring into the green of mine.
“Just planning the day,” I smiled at him, “which reminds me, get up. I have a class in 2 hours and you have the meeting. I need to make breakfast,” I tried to push him off me but he just groaned and buried his head in my chest.
“I don’t wanna get up,” he let out a mumbled set of sounds for a while before I convinced him to let me go.
“What do you wanna eat?” I asked, fixing my hair into a bun and getting out of bed.
“You,” he said, his face buried in the pillow next to me. I laughed at his antics and went out the door.
“Waffles it is,” I shouted on my way down and his string of curses follow me out.
I started preparing breakfast and a pair of arms came around my waist, curling into an embrace. I let my head fall back to his chest and he nuzzled into my neck.
“Something’s changed,” he whispered and I stiffened.
“What do you mean?” I asked, panicked. Does he know?
“It’s you. It’s minimal but something is different,” he broke the hug and turned me around. How? Can it be possible?
Well, he did know when I kissed Adrian that once but can this be possible?
“What? You’re crazy,” I told him, my voice deceiving me as my heart started to race.
“Look at me, sugar,” he grabbed my shoulders gently and took a long whiff of the air around me, “your scent is changing. Why is it changing?” I guess I can’t keep it a secret any longer now.
“Asher I-” I stopped myself and looked down, my hands embracing my stomach and looked up to see his face when his grip tightened.
“Are you-?” He tried to speak, I couldn’t see what he felt, his eyes guarded from me. I nodded meekly, not knowing how he feels about it.
“Oh, Moon Goddess. Does that mean-?” I nodded again.
His face broke into a smile and he pushed me off the ground, spinning me around.
“I’m gonna be a daddy!” He screamed excitedly and I felt the tension leaving my shoulders and copied the grin on his face.
“Yes,” I told him.
“You have no idea how happy you just made me,” he told me, the smile never leaving his face when he finally decided to put me down.
“Thank god, I was so nervous about how you’d react,” I told him letting out a relieved sigh.
“Why? How would I have reacted?” He asks through his smile. I like him this way. Too happy to give a damn about anything else, these moments have been limited nowadays.
“I don’t know, blow up, leave. Have nothing to do with me anymore,” this got a frown out of him as I looked down, wondering if I gave him an idea.
“Hey,” he placed his index finger under my chin, making me look up into his eyes, “I don’t know when you will start to get this but this is a ride or die situation. I can’t leave and I don’t want to, even if my life depended on it. I have already told you this that I will burn down the world if it means I can get you and I stand by it. This bundle of our joy you’re carrying,” he placed his other hand on my stomach so lovingly and gently as if I was fragile and he was too afraid to push a little too hard, “has been added to the list of people I will end the world for. I love you. Both of you,” he smiled at me and bent down to steal a kiss I happily reciprocated.
“Actually,” I said breaking the kiss, “I went to the doctor last week when I did a test. I wanted to know if everything is good or should I be worried,” I stopped to catch his expression.
“What? Is something wrong? Is the baby okay? Why didn’t you tell me, I would’ve come with you-” I cut him off before he could panic any further.
“That’s the thing, it’s not a baby,” I stopped to look at him again and saw the color drain from his face, “it’s babies. We’re having twins,” I finally spoke out.
“Twins?” He asked and I nodded, “that means two children. Two of my children are going to enter this world?” I nodded again, “I swear if you tell me right now that we’re getting married tomorrow, I will never ever let you out of our bed and you will love every moment of it,” he finally smiled down at me and pulled me in another passionate kiss.
He pushed me to the edge of the counter, I jumped to sit there as his hands found their way under my shirt, exploring every inch of my back and torso as my hands reached up and around his neck.
“You have no idea how much I am in love with you right now,” he broke the kiss and kissed his way down my jaw and neck.
I tilted my head back, letting out a loud moan and giving him access to every inch of me. To hell with the class, it can wait.
We continued our work to undress each other and find our way back to the bed, all the worries in the world long forgotten.
It felt like time froze for us, just so we can have this moment. The utter happiness and a new ray of hope coming to us. And I would do anything to keep it from falling apart.
“Okay now, that’s a little inappropriate,” I told myself in a low voice, skipping through the time portal.
It’s been a year since I came here with the Moon Goddess, she comes to check on me every once in a while, to see how I’m doing but other than that I haven’t really talked to anyone else.
I like to stay here in this huge room, looking at my friends and family as they go through with their day, and I haven’t missed one moment, it feels like I’m there with them.
As promised, Moon Goddess gave me a way to watch over them through a ring that opens an invisible portal in time through which I can catch up with the events happening there. I live in this really big room which she left for me to decorate as I wanted so I added a bit of blue and silver here and there, making it more like home.
The first time I had the courage to look at the pack for the first time was at my funeral, I guess not many people can say that. The tears and the silence were excruciating, especially since I can’t even tell them I’m still there with them. After a while, things started to get easy, I looked down at Amber as she struggled through hard times but finally found a guy who could understand her well.
He is good for her, I made sure he was and I’m happy she found peace and happiness again, it will hurt for a while but every day it will hurt less, that’s how you work through it.
I am so excited for Ava and Asher I cannot even begin to explain. I know he always wanted pups to play with, there is nothing more wonderful than the company of your child to get you through and I just know that the kids will have the most amazing childhood they can wish for.
Knowing Asher, he will spoil the living hell out of them but Ava is the level headed one, she will be the dearest mommy when need be, and a stern mother too. They are the perfect parents one could ask for.
I switch through the portal to look for Adam, he is with Wren as usual, they are in the company building that is now owned by Wren. Right after she graduated high school, her dad named the company to her and Adam accompanies her a lot and sometimes they hardly get any work done.
I smiled as they again for the millionth time this month started to tear at each other’s clothes. Deciding to not be a creep I switched to Chris.
He is in the pack house taking care of something as Blake sits in the corner and watches him work, they are so in love that it makes my heart swell. It was there one year anniversary a few weeks ago and Chris wanted to surprise Blake with a proposal but they got a call from the pack house and he had to go. Although, Chris is planning to ask him again this weekend when they go on their monthly compulsory date.
I smile at their antics, letting out a little laugh as Blake started to make funny faces for Chris to notice him. He finally looked up from all the paperwork and broke into fits of laughter along with Blake as they started the silly face competition among themselves.
I changed through the portal again to watch what my love was up to. She was in her room, working on some assignments her professor gave her and she was really into it that she didn’t notice the lock of hair falling down her side from the messy bun and she kept on writing.
My face lit up watching her back on her feet after the most difficult years of her life. She loved me and I know it was hard for her. More than she’d like to admit, it was like a piece of her soul stripped away. She never told anyone but that’s what she wrote in her diary.
A few weeks after that night she kept one small diary to write everything down on, I read every sentence of every day she wrote in there till it was completely full and burned it, letting the last of her guilt to stop consuming her. I was so proud of her that moment, and this will always remain our little secret, something to tie us together for an eternity.
She finally looked up when her boyfriend, Scott, stepped into her room and walked up to her. He bent down to place a gentle kiss on her cheek and took a seat beside her.
“What are you doing?” He asks.
“Just the last of the assignment before I have to meet up with Ava and Wren in a few hours. We have to decide how the wedding will go down and there’s just so much planning left,” she sighed. Ava decided that they’ll have two weddings, one for her human family and the official mated wedding for the pack and the Moon Goddess to witness.
It was very kind of her to take into consideration that Amber is not pushed again into the world that brought her the immense pain.
“You need to take a break, I’m sure the wedding will be perfect, and as for the assignment, you’re way too ahead that the other students will find a way to get rid of you,” Scott let out with a laugh making Amber give a smile of her own.
“I hope not,” she said and Scott closed her books.
“Now give me a kiss and we can be on our way to have the ice cream you deserve,” Scott offered.
“Fine, but I have to change first,” she said and bent towards him to give him a peck on the lips.
“You’re beautiful as it is, you don’t need to do anything,” he said looking into her eyes lovingly and moving the lock of hair away from her face.
“That’s because you’re infatuated by me, and I have to make sure you remain that way, so wait here while I get changed,” she got up and ran to the bathroom as Scott waited there with a smile on his face.
She’s happy and that’s all I wanted for her, the grin on my face never faltered through their conversation. I always think what would’ve happened if I would have chosen my second chance at life, would it have been good, would it have been bad?
Would Amber live as happy as she is now knowing that the guy that she hurt is there to remind her of her mistakes every day she looks at her friends?
But all those questions go down with the rain when I see the smile on her face and the happiness she holds now that she’s with someone who is compatible for her. If I could do it all over again, I wouldn’t change a thing because I cherish each and every moment I had with her and now it’s someone else’s chance to appreciate her just as much as I do. Someone who loves her just as much as I will for the rest of eternity.
Removing the portal ring, I plopped down on the bed, staring at the stars visible through my ceiling when I heard a knock on the door. I sat up to see the Moon Goddess enter with a frightened girl along her.
She must be around 18 years old, almost 5′4ft tall, blue eyes and brunette hair, a gorgeous girl no doubt with a fear in her eyes. I couldn’t look away from her as she was mesmerized with my room.
“Ryder,” the Moon Goddess broke my trance, I looked at her to see that she was smiling at me with a knowing look, “this is Carly. She is one of the souls whose mates were too cruel to stay with her. She had some queries. I believe you can see to that?”
Another rejected wolf. She is the first one after me, I haven’t met others as they prefer to stay within their quarters and I was told that there are no more than 10 wolves who passed away this way.
I look at her again to see her eyes turned to mine with a glint of hope and loneliness. She has gone through a lot. Her fragile body is one indicator for it.
“Ryder?” Moon goddess asked again and I turned towards her.
“Yes. Yes of course, you don’t need to worry about anything,” I told her with a smile.
“Very well then. Carly, ask him any question you want to and if there are still doubts just call out to me,” she told Carly who nodded gently in return.
The Moon Goddess left us in my room. Carly was the shy type. She hasn’t said one word since she entered so I decided to break the silence.
“So, Carly, how old are you?” I asked lightly with a smile so as not to startle her.
“I was 17 when...” she stopped and looked down. Her voice drops from her mouth like honey, sweet and calming. So young, she didn’t deserve it.
“I’m sorry to hear that,” I told her honestly, and she smiled in return.
“Well, what do you want to know?” I asked, cutting to the chase. It feels nerve wrecking beside her. I’ve only ever been this nervous to talk to Amber.
“I have a friend, he’s very dear to me and he wouldn’t know I’m dead for a few more weeks. I just wanna know how he’s doing,” she looked at me shyly and continued speaking, “I told Moon Goddess about it and she said you would be able to help me,” she finished, the hope shining a little brighter in her eyes.
I smiled and nodded at her, earning a full grin in return. I asked her to come closer so I could reach her how to open a time portal.
“You want to know about the time portal, here,” I said showing her the ring with a sapphire crystal.
“That’s a portal?” She asked, pointing to the ring and looking at it skeptically.
“Trust me, it’s more than it looks,” I laughed and wore the ring.
“You see the time here is different from the time on earth, so in order to open a portal you need to be clear about the motive. You can open it in the near future or the present but you should have control in your mind to keep it open,” I told her as I switched through my memory to show her a practical example, “here,” I said and opened the portal that showed Ava, Wren, and Amber at a bakery, choosing the flowers and tasting cakes when Ava tells them about their babies.
The girls sat there shocked before jumping at her and hugging the living daylights out of her. I can’t help but think what it would be like to be present there and enjoy the same moment with Asher, to see him this happy and striving.
“Who are they?” I look at my side to see Carly looking at them.
“Someone very dear to me,” I told her, shifting my gaze at her, “you see the one with red hair? That’s my Luna,” I pointed at Ava, “and she’s carrying the future of our pack.”
“You mean was your Luna?” Carly tried to correct to which I shook my head.
“No, she still is, and will always be my Luna. And it will always be my pack. It doesn’t matter if I am alive or dead, I will ways be present in their lives and they will in mine,” I told her the truth and watch her eyes change from confusion to adoration.
“Here, you try,” I removed the ring, trying to avoid more queries.
She wore the ring on the index finger of her right hand and looked at me.
“Think about your friend, what he looks like,” she closed her eyes, following my instructions, “think about where he is right now,” she nodded lightly when she had a picture in her mind, “now think about the time you want to see him in. Good. Now slowly focus your thoughts on the ring,” she did so as a small transparent globe opened in front of us, “now open your eyes, holding the thought of him,” she did as asked. Her eyes focused on the transparent ball in the air.
She looked at her friend as he passed through the streets with heavy rain pouring on him and entered a church.
Carly’s eyes became full of tears as I slowly walked out, giving her some time alone.
There is something about her that makes me want to be there for her. She did not deserve what she got and definitely did not deserve to go alone with no knowledge of this to anyone else.
I promise myself to take care of all her needs and to show her the love she should’ve got.
Third person’s POV
But little does he know, that she will be the one to bring light into the darkest of his days.
Ryder has gone through a lot during his lifetime and so has Carly. They will realize it soon and will understand each other well enough.
Not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon they will find the reason to stay in this afterlife together.
One day, they both will wake up in each other’s arms thanking their past self for taking the choice they were offered.
For the Moon Goddess works in ways beyond the understanding of a Lycan, but she never takes a step to harm one of her own.
This isn’t the end of a story, it’s the beginning of something more spectacular that is far beyond our understanding. Every bit of hurt, tear, pain, and loss has led to this moment and looking back, neither of them would change a thing.
Amber will remain with the guilt, but her love helps her through it a little bit every day.
Wren found that she is better off with her Adam than she is without. They portray a perfect example of two bodies one heart.
Blake grew a little more comfortable about his parents’ separation as Chris helped him understand that who he is was no one’s fault, although it was his parents’ fault to look at him like a disease and they did not deserve his love.
Ava saw her friends falling in love every day with new things, but most of all, she realized that whatever she goes through, there is a companion to stay by her till the end of eternity.
This isn’t a story about a girl falling love with a guy she wasn’t supposed to fall for. This is the story where she finds where her true self lies. Running away from her fears won’t make them disappear. The only way to eliminate fear is to face it head first with all the bravery you can muster.
One should always remember to be kind and loving but never forget that your actions have consequences too. Take a step but make sure it doesn’t hurt the people you love.
Someone will always be there to watch over them, even if they’re not aware about it. And that itself shows that you are never alone so when the times are tough, hold on just a little longer and things will be better before you know it.
Love isn’t a person or an object, it’s what you believe in and what you can always turn to in times of hardships.
And in the end, they realized that the string they were tied to was stronger than it seemed. As much as they pulled at it, it only grew stronger and nothing could break it apart. Not when it was tied with love, friendship, trust, and something they couldn’t put the name to.